Volleyball coaches recruiting student-athletes for fall program launch

June 16, 2014

Mesa, Arizona ~ Benedictine University at Mesa is actively building its sports program with the hiring of men’s and women’s volleyball coaches.

Sonia Jones of Chandler was named head women’s volleyball coach and Steve Crook of Mesa was named head men’s volleyball coach for Benedictine’s Mesa branch campus. Both programs will begin play in fall 2014.

Jones has more than 13 years of coaching experience at the high school and club levels, most recently leading her Instinct Sports 18-Orange team to the USA division bronze bracket championship at the Far Western National Qualifier in Reno, Nev.

“Sonia is an exceptional teacher and coach with a proven track record of success at both the high school and club level,” said Steve Schafer, associate athletic director at Benedictine University at Mesa. “She has a passion and vision to build our women’s volleyball program and we are proud to welcome her into the Benedictine University family.”

“I look forward to putting Benedictine University at Mesa on the map for collegiate volleyball,” Jones said. “It is humbling to be a part of something that has so much promise for our community.”

Crook has had an extensive career as a volleyball coach at the high school and collegiate levels, most recently leading the varsity volleyball team at Tesseract School in Phoenix to back-to-back Canyon Athletic Association Division I championships in 2012 and 2013.

“When we set out to add men’s volleyball here at our Mesa branch campus, we wanted to find someone with strong connections in the East Valley as well as years of experience in building a program,” Schafer said. “We found that in Steve Crook.”

“I look forward to recruiting outstanding young men who fit the mission of our University and want to be part of building a program that will compete immediately,” said Crook, who compiled a 431-227 record during 18 seasons at Westwood High School where he won a state championship and received numerous coaching awards.

Schafer will run the day-to-day operations of eight sports programs in Mesa – men’s and women’s cross country, golf, tennis and volleyball. The University is seeking to add additional sports for the 2015-2016 season, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and baseball.

For more information on BenU at Mesa sports, visit benumesasports.com.


Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2001-2011 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013. Education and technology blog edcetera named Benedictine University at Mesa among 10 universities in the nation on the cutting edge of tech for 2013.

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